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The civil rights events have been a part of American history for more than a hundred years. Though history has witnessed the success of many such movements, there are countless wars to be fought for securing the civil rights of people. Two civil rights events that we will discuss in this paper are the women’s movement for equal pay and the gay rights movement.
The Equal Pay Act passed in 1963 that aimed at removing wage disparities between men and women in the US (Alkadry & Tower, 2006). Even though the bill was passed fifty-four years ago, women are still fighting for pay equality at work (“What the Women’s March Stands For,” 2017). The civil rights movement that arose in the sixties ensured that the Equal Pay Act was passed in 1963. However, there still exists a gender gap in wages. Nonetheless, the civil rights movement for equal pay for women has changed the government’s point of view regarding equal opportunities that have reduced the wage gap considerably.
The gay rights movement aims to ensure non-discrimination of men and women based on their sexual orientation. Gay rights have been an issue that has plagued the American government since the nineties. Initially, the government was reluctant to pass any law recognizing gay rights. However, the continued movement has opened the eyes of the government, and the Supreme Court has proclaimed same-sex marriage legal and has adjudged it to be a right (Liptak, 2017). Further, many states had legalized gay marriage before the Supreme Court ruling.
Two Media Events
Media plays a crucial role in forming public opinion. Often, governments use media events for propaganda. These events are usually scripted. Nonetheless, they appear spontaneous to the viewer. Though people do not absorb media coverage uncritically, nevertheless, it has the power to draw public interest to critical subjects. Usually, a speech by a leader or a public demonstration event is elevated to the status of a media event. For example, during the Vietnam War, the media coverage of Tet Offensive of January 1968 showed that the operation in North Vietnam was a success even when it was a military failure (Walsh, 2017). Such a positive portrayal of the war quickly changed the public opinion from negative to positive as the public viewed this win as a triumph over the Communists. Consequently, the outrage of the American people against the government on having started the Vietnam War changed.
Propaganda used by the US government during the War on Iraq in 2003 had helped to shape public opinion about government actions. There were more than 600 journalists stationed in the military units reporting the progress of the war in Iraq (Kumar, 2006). The US government used mass media after 9/11 to garner public support. Further, while reporting about the War on Iraq, CNN created a “script approval” procedure wherein the news report was first sent to unnamed officials in Atlanta before it went to the press (Kumar, 2006). Thus, the aim of the media events, orchestrated by the government, is targeted to change public opinion and garner support.
Difference between the Republic and Democratic Party
The difference between the Republican and Democratic Party philosophy is attributable to rational, societal, and psychosomatic constrictions. The two parties have grown increasingly divided into three major domestic issues viz. social welfare, racial, and cultural issues. The difference lies in the ideology of the two parties. The Republicans are in favor of right-wing conservative politics while the Democrats tend to believe in a left-wing ideology. Thus, the Republicans believe in smaller government and tax cuts, while the Democrats prefer larger governments and higher taxes. However, there are many other issues such as gun control, same-sex marriage, health insurance, and abortion that wedge a divide between the two parties. For instance, the ethical and moral impetus that drives a Republican against gun control is their belief that guns are essential to protect themselves.
In addition, they argue that the right is guaranteed to the American people by the 2nd Amendment to the US constitution. On the other hand, the Democrats are not actually opposed to the idea of private possession of guns but they want the selling of guns to be regulated and administered or, in other words, they believe that the government license should be necessary to own guns. Control of firearms, the Democrats argue, is necessary to check the proliferation of violence. On the other hand, the Republicans cite examples of states that have strict gun control and yet are plagued by violence. In conclusion, the difference between the party ideologies of the two largest parties in the US is based on their core philosophy. Further, the Republican party’s conservative ideology forces them to support the ban on abortion as they have a “pro-life” argument while the Democrats believe it is “pro-choice” to allow the mother the right to have the child or not. The difference in ideologies of the two parties is deeply rooted in their history.
Alkadry, M. G., & Tower, L. E. (2006). Unequal Pay: The Role of Gender. Public Administration Review, 66 (6), 888-898.
Kumar, D. (2006). Media, War, and Propaganda: Strategies of Information Management During the 2003 Iraq War. Communication and Critical/Cultural Studies, 3 (1), 48-69.
Liptak, A. (2015, June 27). Supreme Court Ruling Makes Same-Sex Marriage a Right Nationwide. The New York Times, p. A1.
Walsh, J. (2017). 49 Years Ago, Harry Belafonte Hosted the Tonight Show—and It Was Amazing. Web.
What the Women’s March Stands For. (2017). New York Times, p. A26.